About W3K Tecnologia
W3K provides a cloud-based EDMS (Engineering Document Management System) applied to industrial capital projects in Brazil and Latin America. Our solution enables technical communication management and document control within capital projects.
Our customers are mainly engineering firms, construction companies, and industrial project owners. They use our system do store and manage the workflow/circulation of digital engineering documents (basically MS Office and AutoCAD documents).
Some of our important customers had a business issue that we were not able to address. They need to keep track of the printed versions of files and better manage its circulation to non-CAD users and to construction field people (who normally use printed documents). They wanted to make sure, for instance, that paper blueprints, used at the construction field, were only considered valid if printed from the system. This would mitigate the risk of wrong document versions circulation and enable version replacement.
Firstly, we needed our Document Management System to be able to create printable PDF files from MS Office and AutoCAD documents. This shall allow printing a document even from clients without CAD software or MS Office installed. Then we defined that any copy made from documents stored on our system went out with a watermark indicating that it was a controlled copy. With these requirements in mind, we went out searching for a solution that would be easy to implement and could convert the most common types of files used by our customers and users in a fast and reliable way.
Aspose’s capability to convert CAD and Office documents into PDF, and the ability to easily edit these PDF files was what has driven us to choose the product. When the user uploads or creates a new version of a CAD file, for example, we convert CAD file to PDF using Aspose.CAD for .NET and then add the required watermarking using Aspose.PDF for .NET. The result was a new file that can be viewed directly through the browser, or to be printed, allowing not only document viewing and printing but also the possibility of restricting access to the original CAD file. Aspose.CAD for .NET also allowed us to create the PDFs with a black background for viewing, which Engineering users are more comfortable with, as seen in the image below.
Finding a solution
We had tested Aspose before when searching for a solution to manipulate Office files. We needed to export Word and Excel files using a template filled with data from our document management system, but at that time, we ended up using the Open XML SDK for that. Since we knew Aspose could render PDF from Office files, when the new requirement came we considered it again and discovered that it had now a new product: Aspose.CAD for .NET. It was then easy to settle on Aspose, since it had all the things we needed in on product family.
The implementation was smooth as it gets. Everything we needed, we could figure out from the online documentation, which is very concise and filled with examples. Comparing with other libraries for PDF manipulation, Aspose’s solution is simpler and straightforward.
We met our objectives fully, everyone at our company was satisfied with the results and the developers were amazed by how easy it was to accomplish something that at first looked like a lot of work.
We plan to extend the PDF generation feature, with the option to not only add a fixed watermark, but also metadata from the document stored in our system, like workflow status as “stamps”. And, using Aspose.BarCode for .NET, the ability to generate barcodes to protocol and track received and distributed documents in our system.
Regarding Office files, we plan to replace our current Open XML SDK implementation to use Aspose APIs and thus having more clean and maintainable code.
During our implementation, we could sense that we touched only a fraction of what Aspose.Total for .NET is capable of. The API’s ease of use gives the developers satisfaction for “getting work done” with it’s simple and clean code, and the end product’s robustness makes our customers happy. We would definitely recommend Aspose.Total for .NET to companies who want to work with virtually any type of file in their applications.